Rescue group asks for help in identifying battered bait dog
Posted September 8, 2010
ROSEVILLE — When they found the young female pit bull dumped in a backyard in Warren, she was battered and bruised, covered in puncture wounds and scabs, with her legs swollen — the apparent victim of a dog-fighting ring.
Her sweet disposition in spite of horrific injuries and abuse struck a cord with her rescuers, who named her Victory — or Tory for short — and they refuse to give up on her anytime soon.
Roseville resident Melanie Wittner, a volunteer with Precious Pets Adoption League in Sterling Heights, said Tory is currently being treated for her injuries at a local veterinary hospital. Once healthy, she will be housed by Precious Pets for rehabilitation and hopefully adoption.
“We called multiple police departments, and we called some shelters. They didn’t want anything to do with her, and recommended she be euthanized because of what she’s been through,” Wittner said.
“They say a dog can’t ever really be trusted again after sustaining that level of abuse, but she has such a great personality.”
Precious Pets received the call on Feb. 8 from a Warren resident who found Tory had been dumped in his fenced corner lot. She came up to the backdoor, seeking comfort.
“We are confident she was a family pet, because she is so friendly,” Wittner said.
“From her injuries, it’s obvious she was chained up and backed into a corner, because the wounds are only the front of her. They do that to bait dogs — board them up in a pit hold in the ring so the fighting dogs can come at their faces.”
Sue Jeroue, chief animal control officer at the Macomb County Animal Shelter in Clinton Township, said the shelter has not encountered any stray dogs used for bait “in many years.”
“I’ve heard of recent things going on in Warren and Roseville, but nothing around here,” she said.
Jeroue said she could not predict the ability of a dog to recover from such a high level of abuse.
“It would depend on the dog … it depends on how the animal has been abused,” she said.
“I’ve never seen recovery from something as dramatic as that.”
Tory, who has liver and brown markings, is estimated to be around 2 or 3 years old. She had no collar, and Wittner said any identifying marks are most likely obscured by scabs and wounds at this time.
Wittner said she was told by several local police departments that they have no reports of a missing pit bull, or any other lost or stolen dogs.
“I don’t see how that could be, because I see signs for missing dogs everywhere in my neighborhood,” she said.
In the year and a half she has worked for Precious Pets, Wittner said she’s seen worse cases than Tory — including whole litters of puppies that had been stolen for use as dog-fighting bait and then abandoned.
The vet bill is running high for Tory, but Wittner said Precious Pets would do what it takes to see her become a happy, healthy dog once more.
“In the case of Michael Vick’s dogs, most of them were able to be rehabilitated, and I have hope for her. We’re going to do our best to find her a forever home,” she said.
“We named her Victory because she’s already won her worst fight.”
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